My Media Diet
The magazines, newsletters, and podcasts I enjoy deeply.
Most of my media and culture diet has nothing to do with food. While cooking and eating and drinking are activities for all the time, the brain work about food I try to contain to a Monday to Friday, nine-to-five schedule. What gets me excited to finish my work is literally everything else: books, art, music, movies, politics, theory, spirituality. These influences make their way into my work on food, feeding me—so to speak—in a way that allows my brain to wander. Because people enjoyed my lists of food newsletters and favorite cookbooks, I thought today I’d send out an annotated list of what I subscribe to, in print and otherwise.
Magazines are my favorite thing in the world. The thrill has been restored to me through, as I’ve written before, subscribing to ones that don’t give me what I’m already getting through my daily digital meanderings and that expand my scope upon the world.
ArtForum has influenced me more than anything else. It’s global in perspective, giving me glimpses into exhibitions around the world, and introduces me to podcasts, books, movies, and artists that I otherwise would not find. Each issue is a treasure trove, bringing me back to a giddy preteen state. Its companion publication, BookForum, is another staple of good writing and thinking.
Many people see it as a joke, and I understand, but Monocle is a magazine that I adore, again, for its global scope (this is a theme for me: since I left New York, a lot of media makes me want to puke) and perspective on luxury. Sure, it’s for rich people, but it’s also looking at politics, culture, and urban planning in a way that makes me feel tuned into a different way of experiencing the world. And its take on luxury, while pricey, also focuses on artisans and makers who maintain cultures. It lets me disappear for a bit into a saner, more beautiful (albeit still neoliberal) world, and I love it for that. I also learn a lot about running and growing a publication from them. I love their fashion and dining magazine Konfekt for similar reasons. Goes down easy, smooth, with a touch of smart.
BOMB was really formative for me after college—finding it made me believe there was space for me in the world. I recently re-subscribed as I’m digging back to my aesthetic roots, and I still really appreciate its zine-y, scrappy but polished approach to the arts and fiction.
Because of its sexy new design and a few really amazing digital pieces of late (like this one about how to choose your perfume), I re-subscribed to The Paris Review, as well. There are dope things afoot there.
A new magazine I subscribed to is Astra, because your friend Alicia cannot resist an international literary event. I loved the side-by-side essays by Kate Zambreno and her Swedish translator Helena Fagertun in the first issue—excited to see more.
I use the newsletter space to mainly keep up with other food things, but here are non-food newsletters that I get excited to open.
When a new missive from Interruptions by Cameron Steele arrives in my inbox, I get a little flutter—her writing is beautiful, personal, precise, and I love to tour the tarot and astrology through her knowledge. I was introduced to her when she was on a few episodes of Jessa Crispin’s podcast Public Intellectual, and I’m so glad I get to continue engaging with Cameron’s mind.
Sarah Miller is so funny and smart, the rare writer who will admit to having hit people and dragged a stranger out of a cab, who also writes about the feelings and reality of climate change better than anyone. Her newsletter is The Real Sarah Miller.
Marianela D’Aprile’s The Immense Wave brings me back to everything good about LiveJournal: brief glimpses into another person’s world that leave you a better person who understands more.
I love Dirt for being brief, smart, and fun, and now it’s expanding. The “brief” aspect is important, because they publish daily but it never feels like a chore to open them up; it’s always like a little present. The recent interview about Hilton Als’s Instagram is something I keep coming back to, in my mind and to re-read.
I only listen to podcasts about literature. If any of my taste in written forms inspires you to tell me about podcasts that are in a similar vein, I will appreciate that!
“Between the Covers” is my absolute favorite—a perfect companion for walking the dog, and that’s my highest praise, because if you can make something I do every day feel interesting, I really appreciate you. Recent conversations with Alejandro Zambra (an old favorite) and Caren Beilin (a new favorite) are good places to start, but there’s a great archive and I became a Patreon supporter to hear bonus episodes, especially those with translators. Host David Naimon does RESEARCH, making the show notes themselves a whole-ass education.
“The Maris Review” is a great way to keep up with what new books are out and which new authors to keep on your radar. The episodes are on the shorter side (like my podcast!), so it’s good for getting yourself to do boring tasks that require some mental stimulation to feel useful.
The only books I subscribe to are Isolarii, which I learned about in ArtForum. They’re the size of older-gen iPhones, very cool design, very interesting subjects, and I love getting a little gift that I didn’t pick out in the mail on occasion. (Themes of my media consumption: feels like a gift; international; literary.) They’re $15 each, which to me is a steal for how good the stuff is. You can even read them digitally for free on their website, to preview. I prefer print.
Last week’s podcast featured Andrea Hernandez of Snaxshot. This Wednesday, because of scheduling snafus and the unpredictability of illness, there will be no new podcast! I’ll return with likely one more episode for this season before a good, long summer break to regroup. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or adjust your settings to receive an email when it’s out.
This Friday’s From the Kitchen for paid subscribers will feature a simple vanilla butter cake, the kind that evokes childhood birthday parties. See the recipe index for all past recipes available to paid subscribers.
Nothing, but at work on a lot. A LOT!!! Tomorrow is the launch of Prism’s “The Meat Issue,” for which I’ve served as editor-at-large. Subscribe, if you haven’t.
Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London by Lauren Elkin and Spain by Caren Beilin. I am reading many literary travelogues by women—please recommend more!
I’m making many things I usually make but with a huge bean upgrade thanks to Primary Beans, who sent me many bags. I’ll be writing about beans and how they’ve become a marker of food “hipness”—how that helps and hinders the actual necessity of growing and cooking them, and making good ones accessible. Above, a pile of pigeon pea shells.